1 Thing 49ers’ Brock Purdy Must Do To Become A Truly Elite Quarterback

Brock Purdy, 49ers
NFL Analysis Network

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy continued to impress people on Sunday in just his seventh career regular season start.

Although he wasn’t dazzling and didn’t throw a single touchdown pass, he continued to show the poise and resourcefulness he is becoming known for. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 206 yards and directed a potent 49ers offensive attack that got past the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams on the road, 30-23.

His career is off to an incredible, Cinderella-type start. Despite being the last player chosen in the 2022 NFL Draft, the so-called “Mr. Irrelevant” is still undefeated in the regular season, and even better, he is among the league leaders in passer rating so far this season.

It is rare to see a neophyte quarterback who has shown the calmness and poise Purdy has, not to mention the ability to make quick reads when facing pressure and throw the football to the correct receiver.

But everyone always has some room for improvement, and there are still some who doubt if Purdy is the real deal. If he wants to truly take that next step and firmly entrench himself as an elite signal-caller for the 49ers, there is one thing he must improve on.

Purdy must get better at throwing the long ball

Coming into the NFL, some weren’t sure about Purdy’s arm strength. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, he isn’t quite as physically imposing as some other QBs, yet Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense has been seemingly tailor-made for Purdy.

It is a run-heavy offense that utilizes mostly short passes and relies on its skill players to get yards after the catch. Shanahan has opened up the offense a little bit ever since Purdy took over since he is better at making intermediate-range passes than his predecessor Jimmy Garoppolo.

Yet, the Iowa State University product still has to get better on long pass attempts. More than once on Sunday, he had a receiver open deep and looked to deliver the ball to that player, but he instead overthrew the ball.

On one occasion late in the third quarter with the score tied, he had Deebo Samuel breaking toward the end zone, and he just missed the former All-Pro First Team selection by a few feet.

After the game, Purdy held himself accountable for his overthrown pass attempts.

The good news is that those failed attempts essentially proved that Purdy’s arm strength isn’t an issue, and his accuracy on such throws should be a fixable issue moving forward.

Purdy has nailed just about everything else for the 49ers

In just about every other aspect of the game thus far in his career, Purdy has looked good, if not elite.

Late in the first half, with San Francisco down 17-10 and looking porous defensively, Purdy took over the offense with 1:45 left. He directed the team downfield and into the red zone, but then on the last play of the half, it went with a questionable decision to go for it on the Rams’ one-yard line rather than opt for a chip-shot field goal.

However, Brock Purdy made good on the gamble with an ably executed quarterback sneak to allow the Niners to head into halftime tied.

In the first quarter, he connected with wideout Brandon Aiyuk despite having a very tight passing window to put the Niners close to the red zone.

San Francisco’s next two games will be at home versus the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, so Brock Purdy and the team could very well have a 4-0 record going into their Week 5 showdown versus the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 8.

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